Cult of Mac Peddling Crapware and Promoting Piracy

Cult of Mac used to be one of the better Mac websites. It was full of excellent news, opinion, and how-tos. But in recent years, it has morphed into a back-alley website peddling “deals” of all kinds, often through thinly veiled advertorials.

I stopped following the site a while ago, but I still see some of their articles in Flipboard. This morning, I chanced upon this one:

Cult of mac is sleazy2
(I’ve blurred the URL and product name to not contribute to the promotion of this piracy-enabling tool.)

This advertorial, written by “Staff Writer,” is from a company that sells a tool to strip DRM from iTunes files. Not only is this illegal in many countries, but it’s also unethical. I’m well aware of the valid reasons for wanting to remove DRM – hey, I’d love to be able to play the movies and TV shows I bought from the iTunes Store in Plex – but the very headline here is promoting piracy. It suggests removing DRM from Apple Music files, not even files that people own.

I don’t ofter call out Mac websites for their transgressions, but this one is too huge. I think sites like this should be boycotted.

8 thoughts on “Cult of Mac Peddling Crapware and Promoting Piracy

  1. I feel you are equating two quite different illegal activities. Pirating is the stealing of something you do not own, removing DRM is an act whereby you are circumnavigating copy protection to use a digital asset without the intended restrictions – which may be illegal, but it is not piracy in and of itself. I think this is a tempest in a teapot. DRM is an artificial construct to assuage the fears over losing control of one’s intellectual property, mostly by larger corporate entities and not individuals. Which in my experience only affects honest people and not those willing to resort to actual piracy to get what they want.

    • I feel you are misunderstanding. If you own something, then I wouldn’t be against removing DRM. But the app, and the article’s headline, is clearly targeting Apple Music files, which you do not own, but rent on a subscription basis.

      • I also thought your story was an important note about Cult Of Mac. I’ve seen the company nosedive from being a Mac news company, to a sub standard product advertisement machine.

        I thought Richard’s reply was relevant and well said; if he misunderstood, it would be because the article was so short, no detail was made about the moral use of DRM removal. No where in your story did you say you were okay with removing DRM for people who own a music file.
        However, it’s obvious that this tool is being used unethically; it advertises removing DRM from Apple Music files.

  2. I feel you are equating two quite different illegal activities. Pirating is the stealing of something you do not own, removing DRM is an act whereby you are circumnavigating copy protection to use a digital asset without the intended restrictions – which may be illegal, but it is not piracy in and of itself. I think this is a tempest in a teapot. DRM is an artificial construct to assuage the fears over losing control of one’s intellectual property, mostly by larger corporate entities and not individuals. Which in my experience only affects honest people and not those willing to resort to actual piracy to get what they want.

    • I feel you are misunderstanding. If you own something, then I wouldn’t be against removing DRM. But the app, and the article’s headline, is clearly targeting Apple Music files, which you do not own, but rent on a subscription basis.

      • I also thought your story was an important note about Cult Of Mac. I’ve seen the company nosedive from being a Mac news company, to a sub standard product advertisement machine.

        I thought Richard’s reply was relevant and well said; if he misunderstood, it would be because the article was so short, no detail was made about the moral use of DRM removal. No where in your story did you say you were okay with removing DRM for people who own a music file.
        However, it’s obvious that this tool is being used unethically; it advertises removing DRM from Apple Music files.

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